A Review of At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life
November 23, 2018


At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life. By Guy P. Harrison. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. 2018. ISBN 978-1633884052. 320 pp. Paperback, $19; ebook, $11.99. Sometimes to understand the universe, you need to understand a man. Journalist Guy P. Harrison has been adjacent to the skeptical community for a while now, writing books …

What Should the Sceptic Say to Believers?
November 21, 2018


The following essay was first published in Spencer’s essay collection Facts and Comments (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1902), pp. 280–87. It appeared in the November/December 2011 edition of The American Rationalist. To one who has relinquished the creed of his fathers there comes from time to time the question—What shall I say to those who believe …

Atheist 10 Commandments
November 20, 2018


11. Take a moment every day to be grateful
No matter how bad it gets, someone out there is worse off or dead. That’s the bottom line, isn’t it?
You, on the other hand (if you’re actually reading this and not merely in a coma), aren’t dead yet.

So there’s that.

It’s just got to be mentally healthy to shift your thinking from what’s wrong with the world (or your life) to what’s right — at least once in a while. Hope springs eternal.

I don’t know who the hell this Hope is, but I think she’s got the right idea… springing like she does… whatever that means.

It’s Almost Like You’re Imagining It
November 20, 2018


This is something. Commercial artist Joe Reginella mounted an enormous hoax in New York City by making a fake monument memorializing an alien encounter by a tugboat crew that he made up. He also made a website, pamphlet, and a documentary about it. Why? “I made it as a social experiment, to enjoy that moment when …

A Stygian Silence Lurks
November 19, 2018


The Economist looks at what might transpire in Greece with the newly-proposed constitutional changes ostensibly separating the (orthodox) church from state: Even if the mildly secularising amendments [. . .] go through, the constitution would still begin with the sonorous words, “In the name of the Holy, Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity…” [. . . ] …

Is Islam Compatible With Democracy and Human Rights?
November 16, 2018


Presented is an extensive look into Islam and Democracy from Ibn Warraq’s book, Why I Am Not a Muslim. Secular Islam was created by the Center for Inquiry to collect the writings, thoughts, and speeches of secular Muslims, Ex-Muslims, believers, doubters, and unbelievers, brought together by a great struggle, not between the West and Islam, but between …

Ontological Confusions
November 15, 2018


The Spanish government announces a plan to fight fake medicine like homeopathy and to get alt-med nonsense out of health centers and universities. El País reports: “Public and private establishments that include pseudo-therapies will not be able to call themselves health centers,” explained Health Minister Maria Luisa Carcedo … “Their presence in these spaces gives the …

Quack Like Evangelicals
November 14, 2018


The New York Times publishes an editorial calling for the repeal of blasphemy laws: Sacrilege is painful to religious believers everywhere. But broad and subjective legal proscriptions not only contradict the fundamental right to freedom of expression; they also open the door to persecution of minority faiths, as in Ms. Bibi’s case, or of political …

Energy Psychology: An APA-Endorsed Pseudoscience
November 14, 2018


As I wrote about in my last column on the best approach for evidence-based practice, when it comes to psychological interventions (and assessment methods), the best option to use are what we call evidence-based practices (EBPs). These are those medications and therapies that have been demonstrated to be effective via well-controlled clinical trials, reducing a …

A Critical Mass of Physicists
November 13, 2018


I’m not a fan of the angle taken by this article in Crux about religious liberty, where the bias is immediately obvious by the reporter’s characterization of “the quiet removal of crosses from the public arena” as “subtle persecution.” However, the subject of the article is worth considering: Treating religious freedom as a “luxury good,” …